Volkswagen Sharan MPV review
"The Volkswagen Sharan is a sensible, practical and capable seven-seat MPV"
- Refined and comfortable
- Robust and high-quality
- Practical and versatile
- Quite expensive to buy
- More modern rivals available
- Plain styling despite 2015 facelift
The Volkswagen Sharan is a family MPV, a type of car that is now a dying breed in the UK. As a result, the Sharan is no longer available to order from Volkswagen dealers; for the moment, you may be able to find a new or nearly new model that’s already in stock. Alternatives include the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer, the Ford Galaxy and also the Ford S-MAX.
You could also consider the SEAT Alhambra, which is another discontinued model that will appeal to used buyers. Both the Alhambra and the Sharan are good choices because of their boxy design, which gives plenty of interior space. Both are easy to drive, comfortable and practical.
The Sharan was available with petrol or diesel power. The 1.4-litre 148bhp petrol might be useful for short trips but most will prefer one of the 2.0-litre diesels, which have 148 and 175bhp. These models work well if you do a lot of miles a year since they return good fuel economy and are punchy and easy to drive.
You can expect about 45mpg from our pick, which is the 148bhp diesel engine. There are manual or automatic gearbox options - the latter will reduce fuel economy slightly but make the driving experience much easier in traffic.
Standard equipment is good; look out for models with sat nav, parking sensors, folding tray tables and adaptive cruise control, or even a panoramic sunroof and heated front seats on higher-spec cars.
In terms of reliability, the Sharan certainly feels well built but it didn’t feature in our 2021 Driver Power survey so we don’t have concrete information on it as a model. Volkswagen as a brand finished 17th out of 30 manufacturers in the survey, with a fairly average result in the reliability category.
The Sharan scored the full five stars in its Euro NCAP crash tests when tested in 2010, with an excellent 96% for adult occupant safety. As the Sharan is one of the oldest MPVs still on sale, it was tested again in 2019 under the updated testing criteria, scoring four stars overall with its adult occupancy score falling to 89% overall.
The Sharan is comfortable and boasts an impressive engine range, good quality interior, space for seven passengers, plus excellent safety credentials. It's not perfect; the top-of-the-range models are rather expensive and the styling is a little dull, so it’s worth considering rivals such as the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer, Renault Grand Scenic and Ford S-MAX too.